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West Coast Swing Will Tell Us About Phillies

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, April 16, 2012 04:05 PM | Comments: 6
Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

The Phillies will see the new $35 million man Bumgarner in Game two. (US PRESSWIRE)

At 4-5, this is hardly a deal-breaking series for the Phillies. Nine games won’t tell you much about how the season will go from start to finish. But I don’t think you can doubt that there is a good amount of importance resting on the west coast.

The Phillies embark on a 10-game road trip through San Francisco, San Diego, and Phoenix to battle three-fifths of the NL West. The first three are against a Giants team that has had to deal with a major setback with the loss of closer Brian Wilson, presumably for the entire season. It’s likely he’ll need Tommy John surgery. They still have a very good bullpen, but overall, their pitching hasn’t been stellar in the early going.

The Giants 4.21 ERA ranks 21st in MLB, a number skewed a bit by Tim Lincecum‘s 12.91 ERA through two starts. “The Freak” has allowed 11 earned runs in just 7 2/3 innings so far. The Phillies have had some trouble with him in the past, but perhaps they can beat up on him while he’s still attempting to find his velocity.In nine career starts against the Phillies, Lincecum is 4-1 with a 2.61 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP, not including the postseason.

I still think runs will be hard to come by out in by the bay this week. For Game one of the series, it’s Halladay and Lincecum, followed by Joe Blanton against Madison Bumgarner in the second matchup. Bumgarner just inked a 5-year, $35 million contract with the Giants today.

In the final game of the series, Cliff Lee battles Matt Cain. Is this one even better than the Halladay/Lincecum matchup? Could be. Cain was incredibly dominant in his last start, falling just a hit short of a perfect game against the Pirates last week, while striking out 11. I’m looking forward to this one the most.

When the Phillies get to San Diego, they’ll have four winnable games in front of them. The Padres are a rotten offensive ballclub, sitting 27th in baseball with a .604 OPS. Last season, the Phillies scored a four-game sweep in San Diego in late April, holding the Pads to three runs in four games.

Arizona is the final leg of the trip, a place where the Phillies have had mixed results. They’ve lost four of their last six at Chase Field.

For it to be a successful series, what record do the Phillies need to come back with after 10 games? A 7-3 road trip is doable, and maybe necessary if the Phillies want to shake the early-season cobwebs they’ve wrapped themselves in.

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About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1677 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 BART SHART

    I’d like to see more games like yesterday when the Phils scored eight runs. I bet I am not alone with this wish. I will be watching every pitch this evening and hope the long trip does not affect Halladay’s preparation. Also, I’d like see some power from Mayberry

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      Just curious — what do you mean about Halladay’s preparation? Why would a long trip affect it?

       
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    I believe that this swing will tell us nothing about the Phillies that we don’t already know. It is said that West Coast Swings or long road trips can help galvanize a team that is underperforming. Get struggling rookies away from the hometown boos. Give your stud hitter on a cold streak a chance to snap out of it. Let the boys spend some extended period of time together – for what purpose I never understood. To me, this is just a bad offensive team thats staring a road trip. This offensive funk is not a bad dream that a road trip may snap. This is actually our team – and with our 3-4-5 hitters actually hitting well – and the O still sucks. Move the players wherever you want because they are all mediocre. This team is in a holding pattern. Waiting. Waiting. There will be no revelations on the road. This team is not a good one now and they won’t be good when they get back. My suggestion is that Ruben assemble a 25 man roster, each man being born under the sign of Pisces, and then bring Stockard Channing in as team astrologer.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 c schreiber

    Dipsy, no doubt about the offense sucking but oh how I remember all you regular contributers going back and forth about who the utility infielder is going to be and Amaro should never have traded Valdez…. There wasn’t much said by you and the others about the non hitters on the this years team then.

     
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Thats because they weren’t counted on to be offensive producers. I never really gave a damn about the Valdez trade. If he were here he would be just another guy. We didn’t care about the ‘non hitters’ then because Utley was gonna play. Now, the ‘non hitters’ need to hit a little. And they can’t.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 yoNEED jewelry

    Useful info. Lucky me I found your web site accidentally, and I am shocked why this twist of fate did not came about earlier! I bookmarked it.

     
 
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